the big picture gallery | Fuji Xt1 six months on

Fuji Xt1 six months on

September 20, 2014  •  5 Comments




Fuji Xt1 with canon Fd 200mm f2.8 mf

Six months into using the Fuji Xt1, I thought I would update my initital review. Over the years I have used nearly every Nikon model from film through to digital, my last Nikon was the D3, a truly superb bit of engineering, and a very well thought out camera. After 4 years of ownership I was becoming tired of it, not only down to the weight of the beast and attached glass, but because I felt the camera was owning me and not the other way around. I felt my photography was being done by the camera, with very little input from me. I wanted to be inspired again, remove myself somewhat from the electronics. Hard to believe this camera appeared in the Uk late 2007.

So my journey of re discovering my photography came through the purchase of the Fuji x100, yes that bloody quirky camera !, that little camera delivered superb images, set me on the Fuji path. Given my photographic needs I followed up that purchase with the Fuji X pro 1, and started to aquire some lenses. The 55-200, and the 14mm, along with some legacy glass from Olympus zuiko. Still I felt for some professional assignments where speed was required the Fuji's were a little lacking. Though image quality had never been an issue. So when the Xt1 was announced I jumped for joy, no more carrying  the D3 around for that moment when a little action occurred. I can now honestly shoot a portrait session or wedding day without worry.

Since owning the Xt1 I have had so much shooting pleasure from it, yes it has the electronics and all the gizmos, most of which I rarely use. I feel I am in control again. The pleasure of the analogue dials, the shooting film again experience. What Fuji have done for me is to give me my soul back.

One thing I do feel though is that the Xt1 is a much different shooting experience to the X pro 1, although the fuji quirkiness is still present, it feels more refined in it operation, and thats where I feel Fuji need to beware. By packing more and more into the body, in terms of buttons and bells and whistles, it may, and I say may lose the appeal of so many fans. As it stands the Fuji Xt1 is a fine small camera, that delivers great images, while still retaining that user experience. Fuji have established a superb collection of Cameras, and a selection of lenses which are sharp and contrasty, but the pressure to add stuff needs to be controlled. So for me the biggest changes that I have appreciated are file quality, af performance, shooting speed, build quality, the retro dials and overall appearance.  Everything else thay could have left off, nice to have on occasion but for everyday use, think I've maybe used the swivel screen once or twice.

For me the camera has some weaknesses, the lack of a decent flash system, and I can only refer to the Nikon's system which is brilliant. The battery management indicator, and general battery strength though, are woeful. I know we can buy extra batteries, and i have several, but shooting all day requires these, but then it starts to negate the weight saving aspects. The flash system for me is not that much of a put off as I shoot available light for the most part, still a pro camera, deserves a pro system and to me Fuji need to deliver on this.

Many have commented on the image quality differences between the X pro and the Xt1, yes they are different, but to me and I shoot for print, I genuinly have not been able to see that much difference between the two, sure the Xt1 has some NR going on but you can turn that down, overall the image quality is pretty similar and still has that Fuji look to its files. AWB is very good, most lighting situations are handled very well. The big difference for me is when using larger lenses, whereas the X pro felt unbalanced and compromised, the Xt1 feels great. When I'm shooting weddings I rig the X pro 1 with the 35 1.4 and leave it on all day, the Xt1 carries the bigger lenses.

Quick focus aquisition even with the slow 55-200 is not an issue, as the above image of a red grouse i was stalking shows, the Xt1 is a capable camera able to deal with most situations when you understand it.

So to wrap up this review and I apologise if I've waffled anywhere. The little Fuji Xt1 is a grown up camera, not without its quirks and oddities, but they can be easily overcome. Brings speed and image quality over the earlier models, retains the same form factor and aesthetics unique to Fuji. The sensor is sublime, and at 16mp prints very large. Trust me I have gone 4 feet with images from the camera. I feel personally for me this camera along with the X pro1 is ideally suited for most of my needs. Its doubtful I will need to upgrade again for awhile unless it breaks.

September moonrise The RoachesSeptember moonrise The Roaches



The sensor in the X100S is an Xtrans sensor (just like the xT1 and xE2). Raw file issues are the same across all of them. I don't have too much of a problem dealing with them, but I wanted to clarify/answer your question about whether the xt1 raw was different than x100s.
Albie Jones(non-registered)
Not waffle but expressing what many of us feel, most important thing for me is the ease of use combined with the feeling you are always in control, it's not some clever computer that is getting it right which may or may not get it right next time but you who gets it right.. Battery life is a real minus point if Nikon and Canon can give us batteries that last all day this will be the standard that Fuji will be judged by and they come up short. Great review that mirrors my experience.
Thanks for the review. I*v previously owned an X100S, but sold it due to the annoying watercolor effect on the RAW files in some situations. Mainly on grass and foliage. I tried different RAW developers, but I'm a very happy LR user and jet didn't want my camera to dictate what software I use. I've been very interested in the X-T1 as a replacement for my 5D Mark II, but it seems like the Xtrans sensor has similar problems. What are your experiences with the smudging on the Raw files?
Paul's Pictures(non-registered)
While I had my xt1 and the 35 for two days only before I fell and had to send it home for healing, I can agree with all you've written here. what a relief Prior to a year long Sony misadventure I had the d300s and grip plus the BIG lenses which I LOVED but god the weight. Now (or rather when the xt1 comes back to me) I will have the one lens and carry it all day with no problem..these images of yours are superb..I only hope I can match them!!
Thank you for the review. I too enjoy my X-T1, oh so much more than my D800. The largest I've printed from the Fuji is 24 x 18 and it looks superb. I'll have to try a bit larger.
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